Thursday, November 12, 2015
How did we get here so quickly? Never mind that you are now the age I was when you were born. A whole lifetime.
You have such a capacity for love. Especially the least of them among us. I can see how this started right here, in our not so little family. You welcomed every sibling with such genuine joy and delight. Even now, you love to make them smile, shower them with little gifts and surprises. You welcomed them even as you knew there would be a little more noise, a little less room.
You work hard every day. You want to excel at whatever the task put before you. Today it is writing an excellent paper for school. Tomorrow it might be plating a beautiful salad. No task is to small or menial that it doesn't deserve your best effort.
You have changed me in the best ways possible.
I love Maddy Bear! I pray you continue to grow in grace and wisdom. Many years!
Friday, October 9, 2015
Monday, July 20, 2015
Monday, July 6, 2015
Four years ago I wrote this post about the Women's World Cup. As I reread it before linking, I see how much is still true. The only big difference is that the little girl pictured there will turn 15 in just ten days. And her hair is very short now. Very short. Because she still plays soccer. She doesn't ever want to worry about doing up her hair or wonder if it looks just right when she steps on the pitch. This summer she is playing with the academy team for the Washington Spirit, the local pro team. She knows the coach. Really. He evaluated her when she tried out. He just showed up at her game a few weeks ago. It is a great program for aspiring young women. We're thrilled she is a part of this team. This fall she joins a new, highly competitive team. It is playing on a level that is challenging all her skills and fitness. She loves it. Every second of it.
Carmen's little sister Aggie is following in her footsteps. The joke (that Carmen doesn't always laugh about) is how soon Aggie will surpass her big sister in skill. What do you expect from a kid that was on soccer sideline pretty much from the day she was born.
What I didn't know four years ago is how much that game captured my husband. You will not find a bigger promoter and supporter of the women's game. His enthusiasm inspires and encourages his daughters. It is a beautiful thing. You will not find a bigger promoter and supporter of his daughters.
It was a thrilling game last night. A magnificent achievement. But please know, my favorite soccer players, I make them dinner every night.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
Sam read Of Mice and Men recently and then asked me to get him The Grapes of Wrath. He started reading it, but now has paused. I asked him if he was interested in the Great Depression in general. He was, and so that set him down a trail for history and literature. I wanted him to understand the period just prior to the Great Depression so I am having him read Only Yesterday. It was written in 1931. It is an interesting read looking back on such recent history at the start of such a bleak era in American History. He is reading the Great Gatsby as well. So am I. Actually I am about to finish. Can you believe I never read it? I love it. Beautiful language. When he finishes he will read The Great Depression. This is a narrative history. He will also read King of the Hill. This a memoir of the era set in the Midwest. He will also read Cinderella Man. This is an autobiography (yes, like the movie) of a Depression Era boxer set in New York/New Jersey. He will also pick up reading The Grapes of Wrath again. So will I. By the way, Sam is 16 years old, technically a Junior.
The other thing that is working is ancient history. I outlined a course for Carmen to follow. This is the part where I didn't relax. She plays travel soccer and wants to play for UVA. I am a little anxious about her High School years. They need to be intentional and thorough. I cannot guess and mumble my way through a transcript for her. In any case, I like the course I have created for her. I can go into detail in another post. What I am enjoying is my decision to mostly pull along her siblings. We are still reading lots of just plain picture books. I am trying to structure these either seasonally or by author studies. But it is nice to have a history spine that is the same for this group. Even my kindergartner is enjoying the topics.
And. Khan Academy. Oh my goodness. My kids are all working through math at Khan Academy. Every single one of them loves it. Loves. They don't love math. They ask to do math. Wow. I supplement with worksheets or exercises and drills when I need to. Sometimes I watch with them, pause, makes sure they've understood, and then keep watching. So well done. Free. Amazing. This makes me love the Internet. Also awesome, the Art History and Science courses. I wrote Carmen's biology course based on their Crash Course:Biology. I can even track their progress and get reports.
Something new. I just ordered the very first Life of Fred book to start with my Johnny, my kindergartner. I think he will love it. I have wanted to try these books for a very long time. I may even use some for my older kids. We'll see.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
A new soccer season...
This fall I have four soccer players. Four. That is six practices and four games a week (my oldest young adult plays in an adult league, no practice.) That does not include three (more likely four) tournament weekends.
I love it. Yes, it is busy. Yes today was miserably hot. What the heck September?
Kay played in her first soccer game ever. She was goalie for the second half and had a clean sheet. They won. Carmen is helping coach the team. The assistant coach for her travel team is Kay's coach. Aggie scored a goal today and nearly scored another sliding goal. She is seven, but the skill she is showing makes me grin like crazy. Carmen is also going to help coach this team. We have connections to them through Carmen's travel team as well. All in the family, right? Tomorrow Carmen plays. I can't wait. Nine weeks of this, I love it.
And yes, a new school year. I can't quite explain what I'm feeling this year. I have so many big kids now. And I have so many littles. I am finding the balance of teaching all of them. That means discussing The Great Gatsby with my grown son and pausing in the afternoon to bake cookies for tea time with my little son. It means Aggie practicing reading sitting with the toddler while I give my new high schooler some help.
I know I will complain some days. I know I will snap when I am interrupted for what feels like the hundredth time. I know I will be tired. Often. It will not be easy. His grace is sufficient and His mercy will make up for my weakness.
Monday, July 14, 2014
Deep cleaning and sorting lots of toys.
Why do my children have so many rocks?
We have so much doll stuff. So much.
I get a tiny bit obsessive about sorting and storing. And I mean down to what sits next to what on the shelves...all the toys that's build, hot wheels and superheroes should be near each other...and on and on it goes.
None of my containers match. None. Strangely enough, this does not bother me.
Why do my children have so many seashells?
The three year old likes to "help".
I am both disgusted by and proud of how much my vacuum picks.
Which leads me to wonder if the big kids actually vacuumed the basement all those times they were instructed to.
Very grateful for A.C.
Wish I had a fitbit. Because wow, countless trips up and down stairs.
This is just the opening act. Up next, the little girls room. The most frightening room in the house.